Sunday, August 30, 2020

Sunflowers are Glorious!

 From my garden last summer.


Lafayette, New Jersey, September 1, 2001


God’s abundance wows me

from a sprawling field of sunflowers

which tower above

on thick woody stalks


They lift great ochre heads

framed in ragged haloes

of yellow gold

to shine sunrays upon me

like God’s own radiant face

amid a communion of saints

and I must smile back


Their leaves

are big green hearts

In their midst

my own heart

grows and greens


How God loves me!

He astonishes His child

with wondrous whimsies


Soon, when the season ends

they’ll just nod their weary heads

and shed their golden haloes

on the ground


and bequeath their gift of seed

to ravens of the air

which will feast festively

upon God’s abundance

unto them


Maude Carolan


Sunday, August 23, 2020

God's Square Mile...


Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove, NJ



An hour and a world away

is a charming place we love to stay,

where time stands still a little while,

in fact, some call it, “God’s Square Mile.”


Our spiritual retreat vacation

at this gem within our nation

is where we find more than we seek,

at Ocean Grove, Camp Meeting Week.


The Great Auditorium’s surrounded

by quaint tent houses, abounded

by flower gardens, every hue;

coral, magenta, lavender blue.


Great preachers come from far and near,

expectant pilgrims come to hear

the preaching and angelic choir

as the great pipe organ sends its fire


of resounding music through the air,

inviting all who will to prayer.

All this takes place beside the sea

in a grove of sweet tranquility.


Stroll tented lanes in ocean breeze,

past tabernacle, B & Bs;

Victorian landmarks give a show

of “painted ladies” row on row.


Visit eateries, little stores

and take the garden trolley tour.

This Jersey shore town gives to each

respite, chapels, sandy beach,


a quiet boardwalk and pavilion,

where perhaps, more than a million

over the years have stopped and heard

Gospel concerts and God’s good Word.


So come, find more than you may seek

at Ocean Grove, Camp Meeting Week.


Maude Carolan Pych



Sunday, August 16, 2020

Sunflowers in the Storm

I didn't plant sunflowers this summer,

but here's a photo & poem from August 2019...

In my sunflower garden, 2019.



My sunflowers lift their faces to the sky

Haloed in golden splendor

they imitate the great orb of light

that shines down upon them

and reflect back its glory

for all they’re worth


They stand stately and tall

Beautiful. Confident

swaying with grace

almost dancing in place

day after sunny day


and then a storm rolls in


Clouds emerge and darken

The rain lets go its fury

pelting them without mercy

The wind blows wildly


Pummeled to the ground

the sunflowers spring back

over and over again

They can take it


Watching, I wonder

that their slim stalks don’t snap

as they are knocked about


Next morning, the sky is blue

the sun shines brightly

and the recovered golden heads

smile at the orb again


 and I know

sometimes I am a sunflower in the storm

sometimes I’m a sunflower in the sun


Maude Carolan Pych


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Rev. EJ Emerson, Pastor & Poet


Rev. EJ Emerson--1950-2020
My dear friend, Rev. EJ Emerson, went to be with the Lord, Friday, August 7. She was a Jewish believer, who went to Bible college, was ordained in 2005, and presently served as pastor of the New Utrecht Reformed Church of Brooklyn, NY, one of the oldest Reformed churches in America. EJ also was a poet.

One of my delights each December has been to be featured with EJ and two other poet/friends, at The Ant Bookstore & Cafe in Clifton, NJ, for a special evening of holiday poetry and music. 

For years, EJ wrote a psalm a day. She created a manuscript of psalms and published it. I often called her a wordsmith for her wonderful use of language in her poetry.

In her memory, I will feature a poem from her book, Psalmistry, available at The poem is titled, "Grieving."


It seems impossible even as I say it, Lord,
But I thank You for mourning and grief.
Thank You for the passion that connects people:
The love that crafts friendship, fellowship, family;
The complex cloth loomed over time
Strand by strand
With meticulous care by Your Weaver's hand.
And when a strand is severed
Or a knot tied off
Thank You for allowing us the grace to weep
The ability to feel the anguish of loss
The freedom to shout our anger, our pain.
Thank You for taking our screams
Our pummeling fists
Our protests of injustice
Our pleas to reunite the broken threads.
Thank You for the process of grief.
It reminds us we are mortal
It reminds us we are interdependent
It reminds us we are unique
It reminds us that love is part ache...
It reminds us that You,
Creator of the universe,
Ransom for the lost,
Sanctifier of the sinful,
You weep;
You ache;
You grieve, too,
Whenever we break away.

EJ Emerson

Sunday, August 2, 2020

A Very Good Deed...

Emelia, having her hair measured to donate.


First, it was my granddaughter, Emelia
whose flowing blonde tresses
whipped the air long and loose
during tae kwon do maneuvers
or was up in an elegant bun during dance recitals
or pony-tailed on the basketball court
or neatly French-braided in the classroom

A fifth-grade girlfriend came to school
one day sans her long dark hair
and when Emelia asked why she had cut it
her friend said she donated her hair
so a child with cancer
could be given a wig of natural hair

Emelia was so impressed
about what her friend had done
that she told her mother
she wanted to cut hers also, but

twice she made appointments
and twice she canceled them
because cutting such pretty hair
that took so long to grow
was not a simple decision

Still, Emelia knew she wanted to do it
wanted to make a sick girl smile
with the gift of her golden locks, so
she made another appointment
and this time, she kept it and bravely
allowed the hairdresser to cut

When her younger cousin, Alana, saw her
sporting an adorable blonde bob
and heard the story about why
Emelia cut her hair, Alana decided
she wanted to do the very same thing

Alana’s hair was even longer than Emelia’s
and Alana’s parents really liked
their daughter’s long hair long
and were reluctant
to set up the appointment, but
Alana kept reminding them to call

One day Alana exclaimed:

Mommy, donating hair is much nicer
than having hair like Rapunzel!

Her mom picked up the phone
and called the salon

As Alana sat in the chair
the stylist separated her tresses
into four braids, took the scissors
and cut each braid to the exact
specifications the charity required
Then she packaged the hair carefully
for mailing to “Wigs for Kids”

Alana flipped her new, stylish
shoulder-length hair this way and that
and smiled at her reflection in the mirror

pleased and hopeful that somewhere
some little girl who lost her hair
due to cancer treatments
would receive her donation
and that the little girl would be happy
and the cancer would go away

Maude Carolan Pych

Emelia Thompson